Instructables

Convert a 3xAAA flashlight to a Lithium 18650 cell

Picture of Convert a 3xAAA flashlight to a Lithium 18650 cell
This may not pertain to all 3x AAA flashlights, but with some calipers and common sense, you can probably check for yourself.
 
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Step 1: The Background

I bought a cheap UV flashlight the other day to augment my pet detective toolset.

The initial problem was this: the flashlight is supposed to take 3xAAA batteries. Harummph, I say. Completely useless. I bought it anyway, figuring I'd modify it to take a useful battery type.

Step 2: Battery carrier

Picture of battery carrier
This is the battery carrier. It holds 3 x AAA alkaline batteries in all their overpriced, anemic glory.

Whipping out the calipers, I found the battery carrier to be 52mm in length and 22mm in diameter. So the idea was to find a rechargeable lithium battery that would fit within those dimensions.

Step 3: Lithium cells

Conveniently enough, lithium cells are labeled with their dimensions listed in millimeters.

Example:
One of the most common cells found in laptop batteries is the 18650 cell.
This means the cell is 18mm in diameter and 65.0mm in length.

Having a bunch of these, I tried to jam one in, but sadly it wouldn't fit. It was just too long.

So I went down to my local lithium battery super store, right down the street. Ermm, j/k. I went to the online electronic crap superstore based in Hong Kong. And I searched.

They had a 25500 lithium C cell, which was almost perfect. Well, just a tad too fat. I checked the internal diameter of the flashlight tube to be sure, and 22.5mm was the max it would accept.

After a few minutes it became apparent that the largest lithium battery that would fit is a 17340 cell. That would have left a horrible waste of space. I wasn't going to pay good money then wait 3 weeks for shipping time for that bad a solution.







SEKJAZZ1 year ago
HI, KLEE27X. MY ADDITIONAL THOUGHT IF THIS IS STILL ACTIVE/NOT TOO OLD IS THAT WITH THE UV LAMPS (NOT ALL CREATED EQUAL) YOU NEED TO FIND ONE THAT EMITS DOWN IN THE RANGE OF 365NM. MOST OF THE CHEAP ONES WILL BE UP AROUND 395 AND WILL NOT SHOW THE URINE STAINS AS READILY, VISIBLE LIGHT NOTWITHSTANDING. I JUST FOUND AND PURCHASED A UV TORCH RATED AT 365 NM AND ALTHOUGH THERE IS MORE VISIBLE LIGHT THAN WE MAY WISH FOR, THE WAVELENGTH MAKES THE STAINS PARTICULARLY DISCERNIBLE. IT SHOULD HELP YOU SOLVE THE "MYSTERY."

AS FOR YOUR CONVERSION ARTICLE... INGENIOUS. I HAD THE SAME THOUGHTS AND WAS LOOKING ONLINE TO SEE IF ANYONE HAD MARKETED AN ADAPTER/EXTENSION TUBE TO CONVERT AAA TO A 18650... I DID FIND CONVERSION TUBES TO DOUBLE UP ON THE 18650 BATTERIES FOR UNITS ALREADY DESIGNED FOR THEM, BUT NOT THE CONVERSIONS. I CAN'T BE THE ONLY ONE WITH THE IDEA... SO I GUESS WE STAY TUNED, AND MEANWHILE, DO IT YOUR WAY FOR THOSE UNITS THAT WILL ALLOW FOR YOUR ROTO-ROOTER APPROACH. I HAVE TWO BETTER FLASHLIGHTS THAT HAVE THE SAME ANEMIC AAA HOLDER WHICH I'M NOT SURE WILL TOLERATE THE SURGERY.
THANKS.
dragonriot2 years ago
You could have put in an 18500 as well... but good work. =)
Badboyz2 years ago
I actyually have one of those UV Flashilghts too. TO bad they didnt fulfill your purpose. I have a cat too, both males. Get him neutered and he will stop marking his terratory. Assuming that is what he is doing and that it is a male. Overall, I know what you mean about that mysterous smell, drives you crazy...lol..trust me I know.
-max-3 years ago
im sure Chinese people just put in purple led's instead of the UV ones, to give the illusion of a brighter light
MUKHRFF4 years ago
THANKS